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Reexamining the Foundations of Generative Linguistics

By Ray Jackendoff


Abstract. The Chomskyan revolution of the 60s had a strong effect on the evolution of cognitive science. However, in the past decade, generative linguistics has had little serious interaction with the other cognitive sciences. I will suggest that Chomsky's arguments for the innateness of the language capacity are correct and still of great relevance. In retrospect, certain aspects of their realization can be seen as mistakes, in particular the treatment of the competence-performance distinction, the centrality of syntax, and the marginalization of semantics. When these issues are addressed properly, the way is open for more fruitful dialogue with theories of brain function.

Year: 2013
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